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How to move a Fridge Freezer during house removals and storage

During a Direct, Door to Door house move.

Moving your fridge freezer needs a lot of thought and planning ahead of your house move. You should plan to run down your stocks of refrigerated and frozen foods well in advance of moving day and aim for a NIL stock on the moving day – here’s why:


Firstly, you should not move fridge freezers with stuff inside, as this risks causing damage to both the inside and outside of the appliance.  The thin outside casings and bottom corners are not designed to be moved with additional weight, so you could end up with crumpled corners if the appliance is set down too heavily, which may be difficult to avoid if full of stuff and too heavy! Additionally, the pipes and radiators behind the fridge freezers are also quite fragile, so the item needs to be empty to enable the lifters to manoeuvre the item around the house in a controlled way. The interior parts of the fridge are also very weak and are unlikely to be able to support the weight of goods inside. 


Secondly, if you were considering decanting everything into cool boxes for the move, there is no guarantee your electricity will be switched on when you get to your new house. Furthermore, house sales and purchase transactions organised around ‘completion day’ are notoriously frustrated by delays caused by late funds, incorrect papers, lost keys and even arriving to discover the sellers haven’t vacated in time, and before you realise all your food starts to defrost and gets ruined. It’s far easier to just to re-stock with new goods once you are settled in.


Thirdly, most manufacturers of refrigerators and freezers recommend you leave your appliances switched OFF for anything from 3 to 24 hours after transportation to allow the coolant liquids inside the machines to settle. During the course of lifting and transportation it is inevitable that the appliances will need to be tilted at some stage, and this may cause refrigerant liquids to be displaced in the pipes which could potentially lead to a failure of the machine. The more the appliance is tilted/moved, the longer you should wait before switching it back on.


If you have a double door, American style fridge freezer, please note that these can be very heavy indeed, with UK market models typically weighing between 90 to 170kg, so to avoid hurting yourself it is recommended you get a professional mover to transport them. (nb – even single door fridge freezers can be heavy, weighing typically weighing between 60 to 90kg for UK market models).  The chances are that a double door American style appliance will not fit through access ways in your home with its doors on, therefore the two fridge doors will probably need taking off. Therefore, before the moving day get a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions and get the doors removed – don’t leave this to the moving day itself otherwise there will be no time to react to any problems encountered during the disassembly of the doors.


Your Fridge Freezer During Storage


If your fridge freezer needs to be stored, then action must be taken to minimise the significant risk of mould and mildew occurring. If mould is allowed to form inside these appliances, this can lead to staining of the plastic trims and in particular the door seals as well as leaving unpleasant smells, all of which can sometimes be impossible to be removed. The following actions are therefore recommended:


1. Empty your refrigerator or freezer at least 1 week prior to the move and defrost it completely.


2. Take out all loose trays and shelves etc. and thoroughly clean them, together with the inside of the appliance using warm soapy water – avoid using bleach or strong detergents as they could leave unpleasant chemical smells in the appliance.  Make sure to clean off any food particles as this would act as a trigger for a nasty hairy mass of mould forming over time!


3. Allow plenty of time for the inside to become completely dry before shutting the door on moving day. Once the transportation has taken place, it’s a good idea to keep the door slightly ajar during storage to avoid smells and mould forming.


4. Whilst the appliance is drying off, it’s a good idea to clean the outside of the item too, including removing cobwebs etc. from the workings at the back of the unit.


5. Store the appliance upright, never on its side as this will lead to refrigerant fluids being displaced into parts of the mechanism that they should not be present in.


6. Once the items have been delivered back, you should ideally wait 24hrs before switching back on (to ensure fluids drain back to where they should be).


It’s always best to read the manufacturer’s instruction manual specific to your appliance for moving and storage tips.


Cooks of Cranleigh can quickly and economically move your fridge freezer in our local area when in combination with other works. Our local areas for moving fridge freezers include local towns such as Woking, Guildford, Godalming, Farnham, Hindhead, Haslemere, Billingshurst, Horsham, Dorking, Reigate, Redhill, Leatherhead, Horsley and Cobham.


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